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What's the California music scene like?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by nrvana8775, May 16, 2011.

  1. nrvana8775

    nrvana8775 Member

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    I do a lot of ambient/electronic by myself, but I am a pretty versatile player.

    Getting sick of the Chicago weather, and want to move to California.

    I've been thinking about Oakland/SF or Silver Lake, LA.

    Anyone have experience with these areas or know what the scenes are like?
     
  2. Scooter Burbank

    Scooter Burbank Member

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    The Eastside LA scene (Silver Lake/Echo Park) is really great and you would probably be right at home. That said, seems like the ratio of bands to venues to music enthusiasts is way out of whack. Written out it probably looks something like this: 20:2:1.

    I haven't lived in the Bay Area in over 10 years, so I can't really comment other than to say that I always have thought LA is a better music town than SF. Just something about the different towns that leads me to say this, though it's hard for me to put my finger on exactly what it is.
     
  3. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

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    Be prepared for stiff competition. Bone up on your people skills.
     
  4. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    My thoughts on 10 years in L.A.: You'll find an unending stream of people willing to gig for free or give their music away (film/TV placements, for example) for exposure. Lots of talented players, very few of which are making a decent living. Folks don't seem to go out to hear live music unless they know someone in the band and they don't stick around to hear the other bands.

    The weather is nice. Traffic is bad. Lots of great food.
     
  5. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Member

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    I live about 40 minutes north of San Fran in a small town of 7500 people. There are 5 clubs here with live music every night. Lots of great music here, lots of great musicians too. Same difficulty getting gigs as anywhere which if it's something you are good at already you will be fine. Love NorCal.
    good luck with your move!
     
  6. thornie

    thornie Supporting Member

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    Sounds like NYC minus the weather.
     
  7. '70 RS

    '70 RS Member

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    North of South San Jose
    Fairfax?
     
  8. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    LA is great if you want to join a band with a gimmick or tour with a pop star. If you want to join a band that actually cares about the quality of music they play, you may want to look elsewhere.
     
  9. Scooter Burbank

    Scooter Burbank Member

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    Not true. There are tons of great bands in LA (and tons of great food as someone else mentioned). Cliques abound, yes, as is the case everywhere. And there are a million rocker idiot posers that move to Hollywood every year, but I don't think that's what the original poster is all about.
     
  10. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    If I would move to California and be music-centric, I would stay away from the really big places, LA and San Francisco. Instead find a good local music scene like a college town, more opportunities, less competition. Santa Cruz, San Luis Obispo, Davis, places like that.

    PS: I would move to San Diego but that's another story.
     
  11. tiktok

    tiktok Supporting Member

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    College towns are full of bands comprised of college students, with lots of student friends who like to drink on any night of the week while their friends' band clatters away.

    Since most clubs care only about your paying draw, you'll be competing against those kids.
     
  12. dharmafool

    dharmafool Member

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    There's a music scene blossoming in Joshua Tree, a desert zone east of Los Angeles.
     
  13. GtrWiz

    GtrWiz Member

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    Well I lived there for 5 years, I went out about 3-4 nights a week and that's the vast majority of what I saw. Every now and again I heard a decent songwriter at Hotel Cafe. Silverlake is full of "anti-hero" wanna-be's, those are my favorites, at least the Hollywood rocker idiots are honest about wanting to be famous.

    Great fusion at The Baked Potato...
     
  14. nrvana8775

    nrvana8775 Member

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    What kind of music?
     
  15. nrvana8775

    nrvana8775 Member

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    I don't currently plan on making music my primary income source. Exposure is the main reason.

    That's a shame to hear that people don't go out to shows. It seems like a lot of bands are coming out of Silver Lake though.
     
  16. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    I give you an example of California. San Jose, 1 million people living there plus even more in the satellite cities. Music scene is dead. You drive across the hill to Santa Cruz, 60,000 people living there -- something fun happening on the music scene every night.
     
  17. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    & most bands in SC play for beer or free ... :)

    But if it's not making a living at music, then it's certainly a pretty cool scene
     
  18. Scooter Burbank

    Scooter Burbank Member

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    One man's "anti-hero wanna-be" is another's great band. The original poster described him/herself as an ambient/electronic musician --- he/she might very well be into this "anti-hero wanna-be" thingy, whatever the hell that is.

    nrvana8775, La often gets a bad rap. Many, many people that actually live here literally have no idea what the city is all about. It's vast, complicated, dynamic, ugly, incredible --- just like any other big city but with its own character. It's also a fun and comfortable place to live, as opposed to other big cities. Takes a while here though.
     
  19. RocksOff

    RocksOff Member

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    A lot of people play music for beer or free. Making a living at playing music isn't something a lot of people choose, or even want to do. Let em have the beer in SC. As long as there's a good music scene with interesting bands, I'm there.
     
  20. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    I doubt anyone really makes any decent living with music nowadays. But scenes are hard to find.
     

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